Tomic eager to pull rank on fellow Australians

Progress means he can take over from Hewitt and Matosevic.

Bernard Tomic said he was relishing the prospect of being Australia's top player after the teenager eclipsed his compatriots at Wimbledon.

Tomic made it into the third round at the All England Club and the ranking points accumulated are set to push him clear of Lleyton Hewitt, the former world No 1, and Marinko Matosevic.

"It's a good feeling," the 18-year-old said. "I haven't really focused on that too much. I know the ranking will come if I win, especially if I win another match.

"But I'm just going to focus on this and see where my ranking is after the tournament."

Tomic has had an excellent run at the All England Club. Having come through the qualifiers, he knocked out Russian 20th seed Nikolay Davydenko in straight sets in round one.

He followed that up by defeating another Russian, Igor Andreev 4-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 6-1 in the second round.

The world No 158 is set to next play Robin Soderling, the Swedish fifth seed who came back from two sets down to beat 2002 Wimbledon champion Hewitt in round two.

"The second time to be in a third round of a Grand Slam for me; first time here at Wimbledon third round. I'm really happy.

"Maybe I should have lost in qualifying first round. Just tells you sometimes when you win a match anything can happen. I'm happy the way I pushed forward, and especially in this last match."

Tomic, who is coached by his father John, said he had no fear in taking on Soderling and would be seeking out advice from Hewitt before today's match.

"Hopefully he's not going to like the way I play. But he can hit you off the court, as he's done the last few years. He's beaten a lot guys very easily," Tomic said.

"Lleyton put a lot balls on the court, and Soderling at times didn't play as hard. I think the lower the ball for Soderling, he can't really execute his power on the shots.

"I can come out and I can put a lot balls low; sure, he can miss everything or he can wipe me off the court in 30 minutes in a set.

"I probably can serve a little bit better than Lleyton at this stage. I'm serving really good, so if I can hold my serve, anything can happen."

Andy Roddick, meanwhile, fears he may never win Wimbledon after suffering a shock third round exit against Feliciano Lopez yesterday.

The three-time finalist has always believed the faster grass courts of Wimbledon made the tournament his best bet to win another Grand Slam. But the former US Open champion looks increasingly unlikely to fulfil his dream after yet another early exit from the All England Club. He has now failed to get past the fourth round in three of the last four years.

With age no longer on the 28-year-old's side, he concedes it has occurred to him that he may never get to lift the championship trophy. "Well, sure. You're human. I mean, of course it does. You may never get your favourite job either," Roddick said.

"I haven't played well this year for sure. I don't think I've played my best since probably April of last year.

"I've been up against some stuff. But it has to get better, there's no doubt."

Published: June 25, 2011 04:00 AM


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